Jerry Bronsma told how he once shared a painful emotional wound with a friend.
"She began to cry as I shared", he said with amazement. "Nobody ever cried for my pain before," explained Jerry. Then he added: “Her tears healed me a lot more than if she had read many Bible verses with me, or even if she had just prayed. It made me feel she understood what I was feeling, and that my distress was reasonable.”
Too often we try to stop people from crying. We grab a box of tissues to dry the water as quickly as possible. But tears are a gift of God. When tears flow, toxins are emptying out of our system and well-being is enhanced. Tears express our feelings powerfully in ways mere words cannot. Words often conceal—tears are honest.
In Biblical times, families would bring in gifted weepers to prime the pump of tears in the others. They would stand and wail, causing others to weep. Tears were recognized as needed and appropriate—not a weakness or an unwanted or embarrassing bother.
So Jerry Bronsma recognized this rare gift when his friend wept with him. Her tears gave him permission to cry more. Plus her tears spoke deeply of her empathy and compassion for him. Her tears were a profound message of care and kindness, too rare today.
My challenge to you is this: dare to be brave enough, strong enough to show your own empathy and your weakness.
It doesn't show strength to deny tears to yourself, or to deny them from others. Rather, allowing yourself to show weakness (tears) is a strength. Embrace it. Allowing others to shed tears publicly is to give them a gift. Bless them by helping them to feel free to weep in front of you.